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  Bureau of Environmental Analysis, Restoration and Standards

GIS Coverages for Water Quality Standards and Assessment

The Bureau of Environmental Analysis, Restoration and Standards (BEARS) is responsible for the development, adoption, and administration of New Jersey's Surface Water Quality Standards and Ground Water Quality Standards. BEARS is also responsible for conducting and coordinating water quality assessment of all waters of the State, which are reported through the New Jersey Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (Integrated Report), and the development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLS) for waters that do not meet the applicable standard(s) or support the applicable designated use(s) and are placed on the 303(d) List of Water Quality Limited Waters. These functions require BEARS to develop and/or apply a number of Geographic Information System (GIS) coverages that are also available to the public, including those listed below. All of the following coverages are available from the Department's GIS digital downloads as individual data layers by using the search and/or drop-down menu, except for the stream classifications and Integrated Reports (see notations provided).

  • 2007 Land Use/Land Cover
  • New Jersey Stream Classifications (including Category One streams)*
  • Ambient Lakes Monitoring Network
  • Ambient Stream Quality Monitoring Sites
  • Ambient Biological Monitoring Network
  • Shellfish Classification
  • Fish Index of Biotic Integrity (FIBI) sampling points
  • Spatial extent of approved TMDLs
  • Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Reports (Integrated Reports),
    including 303(d) Lists of Water Quality Limited Waters

These data layers may also available through other interactive mapping applications, such as NJ-GeoWeb. Instructions are provided below for using NJ Geo-Web to identify stream classifications and Category One waters. Please note that these data layers are provided for informational purposes only and are not legally binding. When interpreting the SWQS, the written standards found in the most recently adopted SWQS rules (N.J.A.C. 7:9B) always take precedence.

  1. From the DEP home page under "Information Tools", select “NJ-GeoWeb”.
  2. Select "NJ GEo-Web" to open the information page and click on the "Launch GeoWeb Profile" button.
  3. Since the data layers of interest on the map are only available when you are zoomed in, you must either use the “zoom in” button over a desired area or use the “Advanced tools” feature at the top left part of the screen and use “Locate Point Using NJ State Plane Coordinate”.
  4. Select only the following boxes to make the data layers available:
    • Base Layers: Municipalities
    • Water: Category One waters, Surface Water Quality Standards and Water Bodies.
  5. Use the “i” tool and click on the stream, and from the "more information" box use the drop down menu to select the “Surface Water Quality Standards” layer.
  6. This will provide the stream name, stream classification (FW1, FW2-TP, FW2-TM, FW2-NT, SE1, SE2, SE3, or SC) and antidegradation designation (C1) as appropriate. The Category One waters data layer will provide the same information but only if the stream is designated as Category One.
  7. Add the "subwatersheds – HUC14” data layer to determine the area upstream of the Category One segment which may be subject to 300 foot buffers.
For more information, please contact Kimberly Cenno, Bureau Chief,
Bureau of Environmental Analysis, Restoration and Standards at (609) 633-1441.

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Last Updated: February 12, 2020